5/16 TNA Sacrifice PPV live coverage report: Rob Van Dam vs. A.J. Styles for the TNA Title, Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson, Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting, Abyss vs. Desmond Wolfe, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash vs. Ink Inc. for the TNA Tag Titles
Aired live on pay-per-view
Orlando, Fla. at the Impact Zone
A video package opened the show... Mike Tenay introduced the show on commentary. Taz is on color commentary, as usual...
1. The Motor City Machine Guns defeated Team 3D and Beer Money in a No. 1 contenders match in 13:15. Before the match, Tenay noted that Team 3D has held 23 tag titles. Taz said they're the most decorated team in pro wrestling, but also dropped in a Texas Hangmen reference. Tenay pointed out that Taz has been watching ESPN Classic again.
Two wrestlers are allowed in the ring at the same time. Team 3D was the team on the outside looking in to start. Tenay said they had the luxury of watching the other team wear themselves out. He never pointed out that they could theoretically lose the match without even tagging in. Of course, they got in the match, though, as Brother Ray blind tagged James Storm.
The Guns delivered the majority of the crowd pleasing spots via their fast-paced, high flying offense. However, Robert Roode tagged himself into the match and hit a nice clothesline on Alex Shelley to slow things down. Later, Sabin hit a great springboard into a tornado DDT on Roode for a good near fall.
At 12:00, Team 3D hit the Doomsday Device on Roode. However, Sabin hit a springboard cross body block on Ray for another near fall. Team 3D cleared the Guns from the ring. They set up for the 3D finisher on Roode, but Storm spat beer in Ray's eyes when the ref wasn't looking. At 13:00, the Guns reentered the match and hit a double team move on Ray for the clean pin...
Powell's POV: Good opener with a pleasantly surprising result. Let the record show that Team 3D put over Ink Inc. on Thursday's Impact, and The Guns on tonight's pay-per-view.
The announcers discussed the match at the desk. They also said they heard rumors that the local police were considering filing charges against Desmond Wolfe and Chelsea for filing a false police report...
Powell's POV: Nice to see them bring up the false report. We'll see if it leads to anything tonight or on Impact.
2. Rob Terry defeated Orlando Jordan to retain the TNA Global Title in 7:45. Jordan was lowered to the ring from the rafters. Terry finally got a haircut and doesn't look like such a goober. Jordan survived a flurry from Terry to start and then targeted his left knee. Jordan used holds, kicks, and even punches on Terry's knee.
Jordan dominated the next few minutes until he missed a knee drop off the second rope. Jordan regained control briefly, but Terry came back with the Freakbuster (his chokeslam-like finisher) for the win.
Terry continued to sell the knee injury after the match by limping backstage. Jordan recovered and attacked him from behind. Jordan put the boots to Terry and continued to target his bad knee. He picked up Terry's bad knee and slammed it down on the title belt that was lying on the entrance ramp...
Powell's POV: This could have been worse. There was nothing memorable about the match
Backstage, Team 3D were talking about losing the opening match. Brother Ray said it's not the first No. 1 contenders match and it won't be the last. Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal walked in the room and Team 3D offered their encouragement. After they left, Ray threw a fit because Neal said something about taking care of The Band for them. "He's only been in the business two years and now he's going to take care of things for us?"...
Powell's POV: I didn't like the way Ray blew off the loss in the opening match as if it was no big deal. If the wrestlers don't take the No. 1 contenders matches seriously, then why should fans the next time the company books one?
A video set up the X Division Title match...
3. Douglas Williams defeated Kazarian to regain the X Division Title in 13:45. Williams came out wearing the X Division Title since the story is that he never turned it over despite being stripped of the title. Tenay told a story about doing an autograph signing in the late '90s and having a young fan tell him that someday he'd be calling his matches.
Tenay said that fan was Kazarian. Taz, like me, was surprised that Tenay was actually doing an autograph session. Maybe he remembers Kazarian so well because he was one of four people in line. Come on, he left himself open to that one.
Back and forth action through the first eight nine minutes with a mixed reaction from the live crowd. Some fans seemed really into the action, while others looked (and sounded) indifferent.
At 12:00, there was an ugly spot with Williams powerbombing Kazarian into the corner. He was supposed to hit the ropes, but came up short. The ref checked on Kaz and the match continued. A short time later, Williams hit his rolling suplex into a bridge for the clean pin...
Powell's POV: Good match. It's just a shame that Kazarian hasn't made a connection with the live crowd. He has some fans, but he lacks charisma and it's noticeable that a good portion of the fans aren't getting behind him.
Backstage, Chelsea chewed out Desmond Wolfe over his plan for Abyss backfiring. Wolfe told her to calm down. He said they'd deal with the police when the time came. Chelsea said she doesn't even want the Hall of Fame ring anymore. She said she wanted Wolfe to call the match off. He said the match is important for the TNA Rankings. Wolfe said she is his and nothing will change that.
A video set up the Madison Rayne vs. Tara match. Tenay ran through some bullet points about the match...
4. Madison Rayne pinned Tara to retain the TNA Knockouts Title and end Tara's career in 6:20. If Tara loses, she must retire. She brought the stupid spider to the ring with her. Just give it up, TNA. Velvet Sky and Lacey Von Erich came out with Madison, but she told them to leave. The crowd traded "let's go" cheers for the two heels.
At 4:50, Tara hit the Widow's Peak on Madison, but Rayne ended up rolling to the floor. Tara threw her back inside the ring, slammed her, and hit a moonsault for a near fall. She went for a second moonsault and missed. Madison hit a finishing move and scored the clean pin.
After the match, Tara looked sad. She brought her dumb spider inside the ring and took it out. The fans chanted "Thank you, Tara." She bowed to them as security came to the ring to escort her out. She pretty much ignored them and continued to play to the fans from the entrance ramp...
Powell's POV: Very disappointed by the outcome simply because it probably means another talented Knockout is leaving the company when her contract expires next week. What a shame. Overall, I feel really letdown by the way Tara was used in TNA and consider her run a wasted opportunity for the company. Too bad.
Backstage, Christy Hemme interviewed The Band. Eric Young said when Sean Waltman went down, he called Kevin Nash and they got on the same page. Scott Hall said he doubted Young at first, but he proved himself. Nash said they're going Freebirds in that no one knows which combination of the three will defend the tag titles on any given night. Young told them he'd have the beers on ice and would see them after their match...
Powell's POV: Young saying he'll be in the back getting the beer ready probably means he'll interfere.
Tenay hyped the tag title match...
5. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash beat Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal to retain the TNA Tag Titles in 8:00. The announcers explained the Freebirds rules and why it's a disadvantage to their opponents. They never bothered to explain why they are allowed to go with Freebirds rules. Then again, did they ever explain why the Freebirds were allowed to take that approach back in the day?
Hall made Moore and Neal look tiny, so you can imagine how small they looked compared to Nash. Hall and Nash sold a lot for both men. The referee was bumped at 6:00 when Neal was roughing up Nash. Enter Eric Young in his ultra-cool white t-shirt. He threw a kendo stick to Nash, who swung and missed.
Mini-Rhino hit the spear on Nash, but the ref was bumped. He picked up the kendo stick, only have to have Young take it from him. Brother Ray came out and roughed up Young. He headed to the ring with the kendo stick and looked at the fallen Nash. You know what that means. Yes, Ray hit Neal with the kendo stick. Ugh. The groggy Nash pinned Neal...
Powell's POV: TNA's streak continues. If a babyface comes to the ring with a weapon and looks at one of the heels, there's a 99 percent change that he'll turn on the babyface in the ring. They really telegraphed this one with the backstage segment earlier. Overall, a weak match. The fans never really got behind the babyfaces. There are some energetic fans in the building, but this is not a hot crowd by any means.
A video recapped the Abyss and Desmond Wolfe angle from Thursday's Impact...
6. Abyss beat Desmond Wolfe (w/Chelsea) to earn Chelsea's services for 30 days. If Wolfe wins, he gets Hulk Hogan's Hall of Fame ring. If Abyss wins, he gets to have his way with Chelsea for 30 days (or something like that). Abyss attacked Wolfe on the ramp before the bell, which spared everyone the "American Made" song. Chelsea tried to leave, but the referee ordered her to sit down in a red chair that was on the entrance ramp.
At 7:00, Chelsea ran to ringside with a case. Abyss grabbed her by the throat and teased chokeslamming her, but the ref stopped him. Chelsea threw the case to Wolfe, who opened and it and took out the brass knuckles. He hit Abyss and went for a cover, but Abyss kicked out at two. Abyss came back a short time later with the Black Hole Slam for the win.
Cue the shitty "American Made" theme. Abyss pointed at Chelsea. He walked up to her on the ramp and said, "I'll see you on Thursday." Um, shouldn't this start now? The referee dragged Chelsea to the back so Abyss could have his way with her or something...
Powell's POV: The referee should be arrested for all the manhandling of Chelsea that he did before and after the match. Forgettable match. I really don't want to see more from these two working against one another, but obviously we will.
Backstage, Christy Hemme interviewed Mr. Anderson, who had his special mic. He mocked the fans for chanting "Let's Go Hardy" and "This is Awesome." Of course, this led to a "Let's Go Hardy" chant.
Anderson referred to himself as an asshole and said that while Hardy has his own fans, he has Anderson's Assholes. He delivered his "Mr. Anderson" line and had the crowd fill in the second Anderson. "Thanks, assholes," Anderson said...
Powell's POV: The asshole stuff got loud cheers from the fans. They won't be able to keep Anderson heel if he keeps playing to the fans like that. That was Rock-light and the live crowd ate it up. Funny stuff, but definitely a cool heel routine rather than an attempt to get heat.
7. Jeff Hardy beat Mr. Anderson in 14:00. A large group of fans chanted, "I'm an asshole," while pointing at themselves as the match started. There were also "We are asshole" chants. Anderson had his ribs taped to sell the big Swanton spot from Thursday's Impact.
Hardy was taking it to Anderson at 8:00 when he backdropped him over the top rope and Anderson landed on the entrance ramp. Hardy came up with a bloody elbow somehow. There were dueling chants of "Let's go Hardy," and "Let's go Asshole." At 11:00, Anderson teased the Mic Check, but Hardy dodged it.
However, Anderson hit the move a few seconds later, but Hardy kicked out. Later, Hardy hit the Swanton on Anderson's back and scored the clean pin to win the match. Afterward, Anderson wound up to hit Hardy, but Jeff turned just in time. Anderson offered his hand. Hardy thought about it, but declined, leaving Anderson with his hand out...
Powell's POV: Entertaining match with hard work from both men. Anderson will get over as a babyface if he gets to deliver similar mic work, but I hope they keep him heel because he hasn't even scratched the surface with what he can do in that role. Is anyone else surprised they put this match on before Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett?
Hemme interviewed A.J. Styles and Ric Flair in their locker room. Flair deferred to Styles, who cut a promo about his title match...
A video set up the Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett match...
8. Sting pinned Jeff Jarrett in 0:12. Ring announcer Jeremy Borash introduced Jarrett, but he didn't come out. They cut backstage where Sting was beating up a bloody Jarrett with punches and his baseball bat. The blood may have been more effective had Ric Flair not bled 20 times worse at least three times already.
Sting wrapped Jarrett's arm around the bat and then pulled back to wrench on his shoulder. Tenay spoke about how hard it was to watch, while Taz called it innovative. They fought their way into studio. "You want to play make believe?" Sting asked Jarrett while continuing to beat him.
Sting pulled the ring steps back and put Jarrett's arm over the top stair. He put the bat on Jarrett's shoulder and stomped on it. Tenay said he's never seen Jarrett take a beating like this.
Sting finally whipped jarrett inside the ring and the match officially started. Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop and scored the pin. Tenay said Sting has lost his mind. He continued to question why Sting won't "give us an answer" as to why he turned. Sting knelt down over Sting and asked if wanted to play a game of deception.
Sting said Jarrett is no different than "those guys." Tenay played the "three young daughters at home" card for Jarrett. Tenay acts like Jarrett is the only wrestler in TNA with children at home who care about him. The trainers placed Jarrett on a stretcher as Sting watched on. As they wheeled him away, Sting pushed the stretcher over.
Hulk Hogan came out and pointed at Sting, but the referees talked Hogan down. Where were they for Sting? Hogan followed as the trainers took Jarrett backstage. The announcers went into somber voice mode and Tenay made his usual bad "angry Tenay" faces...
Powell's POV: Does this mean Jarrett will disappear from television for a while? I'm curious why they did this angle on pay-per-view rather than on Spike TV when more eyes would have seen it. Perhaps they can replay a good portion of it on Thursday. TNA is trying hard, but they're really not getting his viewer excited about the inevitable Hogan vs. Sting showdown.
Backstage, Hemme interviewed Rob Van Dam, who said this is the first of many title defenses. He said he's had many titles. He said the TNA Title is different because he represents everything that it stands for...
Powell's POV: Dixie Carter just tweeted that the live crowd is stunned by Sting vs. Jarrett. Um, sure, that's why they're so quiet.
A video set up RVD vs. A.J. Styles... Tenay and Taz discussed the main event...
Powell's POV: I'm looking forward to the main event, as they should have plenty of time to tell their story. Unfortunately, TNA failed when it came to making me feel like Styles has a chance to win. Even if he does, the fact that they didn't sell people on his chances well enough means they lost some pay-per-view buys.
Styles and Flair came out first. The camera followed them through the backstage area. Rinse and repeat for RVD. Jeremy Borash handled the in-ring introductions for the TNA Title match...
Powell's POV: Dixie just tweeted that the crowd is back and they've been loud all night. Um, I hate to rain on the parade, but I don't think they gave a damn about Jarrett's stretcher ride. By the way, the main event started 27 minutes after the top of the hour, so they have plenty of time unless the plan is for Hulk Hogan to beat up Ric Flair in the middle of another main event.
9. Rob Van Dam defeated A.J. Styles (w/Ric Flair) to retain the TNA Title in 24:10. At 5:00, Flair reached in and grabbed Van Dam's foot. Referee Earl Hebner ejected Flair from ringside. Instead of going backstage, Flair joined Tenay and Taz on commentary. "Are you kidding me?" Flair asked. "Earl Hebner is a dead man."
Meanwhile, Styles took control of the match and hit a flip dive onto Van Dam at ringside. Flair said he's honored to be with Styles. Moments later, RVD shot up and caught Styles with a kick to the chops. The fans were hot for the match and were solidly behind Van Dam.
Flair said he's tired of Hogan, Bischoff, and Hebner telling him what to do. He said he might have to take Dixie Carter "to that suite again." Taz laughed. Flair put over the title by talking about how it means the most money, the most women, and controlling your own destiny.
Styles went for a cover at 10:40, but Van Dam kicked out. Taz said he should have hooked the leg. Styles protested the count by grabbing Hebner, who shoved him and threatened that he'd be "gone" next. Hebner is being made to look like the ballsiest guy in the building.
At 13:15, Van Dam caught Styles with a kick. A.J. reached inside his mouth to make sure he still had all his teeth. Van Dam hit a big monkey flip and went up top. He did the thumb point routine and then missed the frogsplash. Flair spoke about what a mistake it was for Van Dam to do the thumb routine and how it always creates an opening.
Styles took control of the offense and scored a near fall. Flair stood up and yelled about the referee's count. Styles hit the Pele kick for a near fall. Styles missed a splash in the corner. Van Dam came back with a Northern Lights suplex for a near fall.
There was a cool counter at 21:00 when Van Dam went for a leg sweep, only to have Styles jump over his leg, which was followed by Van Dam rolling him up for a near fall. Fun sequence.
At 22:00, Styles went for the springboard 450 and missed. Flair, who had been banned by Earl Hebner, slammed down his headsets and headed toward the ring. Music played and Jay Lethal walked out wearing a suit. Flair blew him off and headed toward the ring, but Lethal caught up to him. Lethal eventually low-blowed Flair, chopped him, and applied the figure four on the ramp.
Meanwhile, Styles went for a superplex, but Van Dam instead clotheslined him with the top rope. Van Dam followed up with the Five Star Frog Splash and scored the clean pin to retain the TNA Title...
The announcers narrated highlights of the main event...
Powell's POV: A strong match, but hardly the best of Styles's career as Van Dam said it would be. The Lethal and Flair antics should have come much earlier in the match. It took away from the finish instead of enhancing it. It looks like Lethal is still an impersonator. Overall, a mostly forgettable pay-per-view. It wasn't a bad show, but it just didn't feel eventful. I'll have more to say in tonight's Dot Net Member exclusive audio review of TNA Sacrifice. You can listen to all Dot Net Audio and the various perks of membership by signing up for the charter rate of $5 per month via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
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